Second meeting of the Social Protection Action Research Knowledge Sharing (SPARKS) network

When: -   -
Timezone: UTC+02:00

Why another SPARKS meeting

SPARKS aims to establish global, interdisciplinary research network that will facilitate action-oriented research on the public health impact of social protection, with a main focus on low- and middle-income countries. SPARKS facilitates networking between prominent research institutions, public health practitioners, development organizations and civil society in order to: a) pursue a common research agenda and generate impact and operational evidence; b) catalyze and coordinate interdisciplinary action; and c) foster knowledge sharing and mobilize financial resources. The current SPARKS work plan can be found at:


Now that the SPARKS network is established we need to reconvene to take stock of the progress so far and further discuss the mandate and methods of how our network will function as well as its future direction.



This meeting aims to:

  1. Update on SPARKS projects’ outcomes, new social protection platforms, and other previous SPARKS related activities including new members and communication strategy
  2. Identify new research opportunities within the current projects
  3. Identify new collaborations and funding opportunities
  4. Discuss and explore generic protocols for needs assessment, intervention research and monitoring



The meeting will be hosted by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden).



The consultation will host approximately 50 people chosen among key research partners, policy makers and implementers, civil society representatives and funding agencies. The event will encompass two days to focus on:


  1. The SPARKS 2018-2020 research plan.We will create a) an updated list of current projects and platforms under the SPARKS Network with a detailed plan on how to progress including: main point of reference, people/institutions involved, funding, data analysis, manuscript development; b) outline new research opportunities in the existing projects and clear plan of how to progress; and c) new collaborations/projects between SPARKS members with identified objectives, timeline and potential funding opportunities.


  2. Workshop on SPARKS needs.We will identify needs of the network and how to address them going forward e.g. a plan for how to develop generic protocols for future multi-country studies or for pragmatic RCTs on social interventions, and create working groups to focus on methodological challenges.


Additional information including the agenda will be sent out at a later date.



  1. Update and revise the SPARKS Work Plan for 2018-2021
  2. Development and implementation of the communication strategy



This meeting will continue the work initiated in the first SPARKS consultation. We will continue to build on the foundation of essential research activities that will generate important evidence on the public health impact of social protection and will leverage future impact and operational evaluation projects. This work will be essential to inform and support the End TB strategy, but also will serve as a model to foster a truly interdisciplinary approach to public health.


SPARKS Network coordination team


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